Migrants set up makeshift camp on Mexico’s southern border

Tapachula, Mexico, Jan 3 (EFE).- Some 2,000 migrants awaiting legal transit documents set up a makeshift camp on Tuesday in Tapachula city in Mexico’s Chiapas state along the border with Guatemala.

Families of migrants of Central and South American origin set up the camp outside the Siglo XXI migration station, established by the National Institute of Migration (INM) of Mexico to provide temporary accommodation to migrants who cannot prove their regular immigration status.

No camps had been set up outside the migration station since 2019, when hundreds of African migrants arrived in Tapachula.

People from Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti and African countries have made makeshift tents using blankets, sheets and cardboard, which they fastened to metal fences with plastic ropes.

Elison Huerta from Nicaragua told EFE that they made the decision to remain in that place because of the arrival of more people every day.

“We are a family of five children and three adults. We have been waiting for five days, because there are several lists of people. The immigration officials call groups every day in the morning and we have to wait for our turn,” he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, thousands of migrants protested and stormed the offices of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar) on the southern border of Mexico because the procedures to request asylum have been halted.

The migrants, mostly from Haiti, South America, Central America and Africa, had been camping for almost 48 hours in front of Comar’s offices in Tapachula after which 2,000 migrants jumped over the metal fences to enter the building.

Both incidents reflect the record migratory flow to the United States, whose Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency detained an unprecedented 2.76 million undocumented immigrants in the 2022 fiscal year.

The Comar also received more than 118,000 asylum requests in 2022, the year with the second-most requests in Mexico since records began. EFE


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